Monday, October 3, 2022

Trump WH lawyer Cipollone meets with 1/6 panel for 8 hours

WASHINGTON ( Associated Press) – Former White House counsel Pat Cipollone spoke for nearly eight hours on Friday, Jan. 6, about his role in challenging then-President Donald Trump’s 2020 presidential election and trying to prevent him from joining violent mobs. met for a personal interview with the committee. who surrounded the Capitol.

Cipollone, once a staunch presidential confidant who defended Trump during his first impeachment trial, was reluctant to formally appear for an on-record interview. Like other former White House officials, it is possible that he claimed the Republican president called his attorney as privileged information that he was unwilling to share with the committee.

After leaving the Capitol Hill building on Friday afternoon, it was not clear whether he had lived within those parameters during the after-hours interview.

Cipollone has been a wanted witness after testimony of the bombings revealed his apparently desperate and last-ditch efforts to stop Trump’s actions. The panel was told it had warned that the defeated president would be charged with “every crime imaginable” if he went to the Capitol on January 6, 2021, trying to prevent the authentication of Joe Biden’s election. Were. Cipollone was summoned for his testimony.

The panel said Cipollone is in a “specific position to make a statement” in a letter accompanying the summons issued last week.

“Mr. Cipollone repeatedly raised legal and other concerns regarding President Trump’s activities on January 6 and in the days before,” President Benny Thompson, D-Miss, said in a statement. “While the Select Committee appreciates Mr. Cipollone’s earlier informal engagement with our investigation, the committee needs to hear from him on the record, as other former White House advisers have done in other congressional investigations.”

Cipollone’s central role came into focus during a surprise committee hearing last week when former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson described his repeated attempts to stop Trump from joining the crowd at the Capitol.

Hutchinson said Cipollone urged him to persuade his boss, chief of staff Mark Meadows, not to allow Trump into the Capitol.

Hutchinson testified that he was told Trump was angry when he was eventually stopped by his security team from visiting the Capitol that day. The Secret Service disputed parts of his account detailing Trump’s actions when he said he beat up a driver in the presidential convoy.

Cipollone was also part of a key meeting on Sunday before the January 6 attack with Justice Department officials at the White House, in which he threatened to leave if Trump went ahead with plans to install a new acting attorney general, who would Voters will further their false claims of fraud. ,

A witness testified to the committee that during that meeting Cipollone referred to a proposed letter making false claims about voter fraud as a “murder-suicide pact”.

Cipollone and his attorney, Michael Purpura, who also worked at the Trump White House, did not respond to requests for comment.

Earlier this week, Trump reacted to news of Cipollone’s collaboration on his social media platform Truth Social, calling it bad for the country.

“Why would a future President of the United States want to have a frank and important conversation with his White House counsel if he feels that this person, who is essentially acting as ‘advocate’ for the country, will someday before a partisan and openly hostile committee in Congress,” the former president said.

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Associated Press writer Jill Colvin in New York contributed to this report.

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For full coverage of the January 6 hearing, visit https://www.apnews.com/capitol-siege.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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